Roanoke City Schools Superintendent Chuck Marcum was thrilled to announce his signing, along with other members of the Alabama Teacher Shortage Task Force, of the Emergency Teacher Certificate Bill. This signing took place three weeks ago at the state capitol and is active for the entire state of Alabama.

This bill states that if someone is not certified to teach or does not hold a degree in education, they can get an emergency certificate to teach. This legislation allows that certificate to be valid for two years and could possibly be renewed for two more years. This is opposed to the previous one-year validation period. Upon receiving an Emergency Teacher Certificate, recipients are expected to work toward receiving their official certification in education. In simpler terms, this allows someone with any type of bachelor's degree to work as a teacher for up to four years while they work to get certified. The bill also allows teachers to teach two different core areas at a time. Meaning, they are able to teach two different subjects (math, science, etc.) at once.

Marcum, along with other leaders in the community, has been extremely concerned about the lack of educators in the district. "There is a teacher shortage, especially for secondary applicants [teachers applying to teach middle school]. Even for elementary, we don't have as much as we once did," says Marcum. Marcum also noted there is especially a shortage in the areas of math, science and special education. He went on to add this is a nationwide problem; not just an Alabama problem. Thankfully, with the signing of this new bill, all Alabama schools will be able to increase the number of educators in their school systems.

John Jacobs, the superintendent of the Randolph County School System, also positively affirmed this bill, stating, "I do think that law HB 506 is a good law for Alabama schools right now because of the teacher shortage. It helps us in high-need areas, such as math and general science. Now that the emergency certificate can be claimed in two areas, not just one, a lot more flexibility is allowed in our daily schedule. So, that's really a positive thing for us." He went on to add that, "This bill will specifically benefit rural schools because that's where the greatest shortage is at this point in time."

As you can tell, educational authorities in Randolph County are excited about this bill passing. They believe this will be a benefit to the students and administrators. If you are have ever considered teaching, but lack the specific degree, now is the time to take the step and teach under this new bill.

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